Time Out For Me*

I’ve been thinking about something quite a bit over the last few weeks. I’ve had a really hard time trying to put it into words, so bear with me as I try again now.

This year didn’t start off particularly well for me. I had my car accident, Ruby was sick forever, and I finally got another interview at the school I had given my heart to for two years… and then I didn’t get the job.

I felt… lost. After enduring a particularly difficult month of January, I accepted that 2013 just wasn’t going to be my year. I could feel that there was something about this year that was going to challenge me. At the time, I was seriously questioning my future as a teacher, so I assumed that my struggle lay there.

Then, against all odds, I applied for a job at a school that I rarely taught at. I had applied to the school several times before with no success, and I assumed that this time would be no different. Within a week I had an interview and was offered my first full-time occasional teaching job until June. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the school and the staff I was working with.

Ruby got better, we eventually bought a new vehicle that we love, and I settled into a busy pace at work. As the end of my LTO drew near, the Hubster and I found another reason to celebrate 2013: baby #2 was on the way.

It was such a drastic change from where I was in January–all of a sudden it felt like everything I wanted fell into my lap.

…but I still found myself feeling unsettled. I haven’t felt myself in months. For a while I blamed pregnancy hormones, but when I really sat down to reflect on where this is coming from, I realized that this feeling has been lingering for far longer than the beginning of this pregnancy.

It extends back to January, when these feelings first started stirring. When I knew that there was something about this year that was going to challenge me in some way.

After a particularly hard month, I found myself dwelling in what Anne calls “the depths of despair”. (Ten points if you get the reference!) It felt good to wallow in my hardships, even though I promised myself it would only be for a minute.

Except that I don’t think I ever really stopped wallowing. I’ve let myself become a “wallow-er”. I’ve always been a fairly positive person. I’ve always understood that hard things will happen, but that they are temporary and there are better times ahead. I have always believed that we are never given more than we can bear, even though at times our load may feel unbearable.

And yet, I feel a bit like the positive outlook I’ve always had has been sitting on the shelf for the last several months. I don’t know how or when, but I feel like I’ve become a complainer. About everything.

And really, I have very, very little to complain about. The Hubster and I have our challenges, but we’ve been happily married for eight years. Life with Ruby is busy, but she’s thriving, and we are so excited to welcome a little boy to our family in February. I finally feel like the years (and money) I poured into my university education are paying off, and I am no longer questioning my career path.

So where is this negativity coming from? I know that part of it is that I’ve been struggling with my callings (positions I help with) at church. They are both very hard for me in different ways, and I’ve had a hard time putting a positive spin on the experience. While my struggle with my callings hasn’t shaken my faith, it has made it harder for me to enjoy actually being at church. It’s something new for me, and I don’t like the way it makes me feel.

I also realized that somewhere along the way, I started comparing myself to everyone I met. (So unhealthy, I know.) It made me evaluate and question who I am as a wife, mother, friend, teacher, member of my church, etc, and I felt like I just wasn’t measuring up. As soon as I felt like I was doing okay in one area, something would pop up that made me feel like I was failing elsewhere.

And so much of it came from Facebook. My lovelies, I spend way too much time on Facebook. It’s so easy to get lost trolling through the newsfeed, seeing the glamorous lives of all my friends. All these people I know somehow seemed to find a way to be better mothers or partners, they were better at maintaining friendships, better at whipping up these amazing Pinterest crafts, better at keeping their houses clean, in better shape… it goes on and on.

In so many ways, I felt like I just wasn’t measuring up. And so, I started making excuses for myself, and dwelling on my “hardships” as the reasons why I felt like I wasn’t living the balanced, happy life everyone else seemed to be.

And then, finally, I had enough. Of myself. Of my own pity party. For the last few days I’ve been making a conscious effort to stop thinking so negatively. Yesterday I took the final step: I broke up with Facebook.

Well, we’re separated, anyway.

I decided that I need a serious time out. I’ll check my blog page to post updates, but the rest is off limits. I’ve been Facebook-free been over 24 hours, and I already feel better.

I just need to stop. I need to stop dwelling and comparing myself to everyone else around me. I’m not perfect, I know that. But I think I’m doing okay at a lot of things. My house may never be as clean as I’d like, I may not always be the kind of friend that I’d like to be, I may not whip up the latest Pinterest wreath in my “free time”… but that’s alright.

From here on out, I’m just going to do my best… and let that be enough. Because really, life is good. When I really stop and think about it, I am so blessed. I have just about everything I could want: a wonderful Husband, a beautiful daughter and baby on the way, a job that I love, a home, and so much more. Is any of it perfect? No. Nor should it be. Life isn’t perfect. It’s just… good.

And from here on out, I’m okay with that.

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  • Jordan

    Great post! I share many off the same feelings from time to time. Good for you for breaking up with Facebook. I definitely spend way too much time on there as well. Just remember people only post what they want others to see, many off us are unhappy behind closed doors. I too have been struggling with my calling lately but because it’s not something I don’t enjoy but because I am struggling to manage my family and get used to a life where I am always in last place. It’s hard work finding a balance in life. I really thank you for sharing this.

  • Joanne

    Oh, how I love your honesty! Rest assured we have all struggled with
    many of the same issues you have and we are still struggling. That’s
    what life is all about…learning, growing and progressing. We all have
    our ups and downs so just hang on tight! Remember seminary and
    learning the scripture Helaman 5:12? Trust in it.

  • Stephanie "Mama" Hayes

    Good for you! DOWN WITH THE BOOK! I think that’s the curse of a lot of us, especially those of us looking to connect with others and build on our audience. How does your family feel about that? I think that’s where I feel some of the most pressure to stay on Facebook is so that family can see what’s going on. Some of them aren’t close by, and there’s even some over seas, so I’m not sure how to replace that or if I even want to. Advice?

  • Shop Girl*

    I actually don’t think that Facebook itself is the problem, but rather how I was using it. I don’t think I’m going to delete it entirely, but I’m taking a serious time out from the “newsfeed”. I get too caught up looking at everyone else’s lives… I need to focus on my own. I will still eventually keep posting things on my own page, but rather than linking to the “home” screen where I can see everything, I’ll link directly to my own profile. I also closed the sidebar where it shows what everyone else is doing. That way, it can still be used as a tool to keep in touch with family, but I avoid all the rest. :)